Advocacy Awareness Week 2023
Derbyshire Mind has a long history of providing high quality advocacy services.
Advocacy is about helping individuals to express their views or concerns, to explore their choices, to access information and services and to protect and promote individuals’ rights. An advocate is independent and there to represent those that need it.
To mark Advocacy Awareness Week, we wanted to sit down with our amazing advocacy team and learn more about their roles, here’s what one of our team members had to say.
What’s your role?
How long have you been an advocate?
Why is working as an advocate important to you?
The people we work with very often have been used to having things done for them and done to them with little or no discussion with them around what they want to happen. Decisions are made for them and about them without involving them throughout the process. Advocacy gives them back their voice and ensures that their wishes, views, thoughts, and feelings are heard and taken seriously. Helping someone to understand their rights and supporting them to understand their options, so they can make, and be meaningfully involved, in decisions about their life, promotes self-esteem and self-respect.
What does ‘A Day in the life of’ look like for a Community Advocate?
One day last week: laptop on, checked emails and plans/appointments etc then out. I had a face-to-face meeting with an advocacy partner and her children’s social worker at her home as part of a Single Assessment. Then back at home for a quick lunch (leftover chilli) followed by a Teams meeting with a gentleman and his solicitor, a few phone calls to one new and two existing advocacy partners, a social worker and to The Law Centre. Another Teams meeting with a social worker before bringing logs up to date, responding to and logging emails before signing off for the day.
It’s safe to say, no 2 days are ever the same.
What has been their greatest success in the role?
It’s not about personal success, the buzz and rewards are from seeing someone take control of their situation and own it.
As well as asking our Advocacy team about their roles, we also spoke to Jenny Hotchkiss, Derbyshire Mind CEO, to find out from her perspective why it’s important for Derbyshire Mind to provide this invaluable service.
“At Derbyshire Mind we are proud to say that empowering individuals to understand their rights, through the provision of high-quality advocacy services, is core to our identity as an organisation. We are supporting more people in Derbyshire than ever before through advocacy, the need has never been greater. Our advocates support people experiencing some of their most challenging times, and I see on a daily basis the incredible positive impact that the team are making to people’s lives. “
To learn more about our advocacy service, click here – https://www.derbyshiremind.org.uk/services/advocacy-services/.